COMMUNITY CHAMP: Zita Stark wins the 2017 Western Downs Australia Day Cultural Award.
COMMUNITY CHAMP: Zita Stark wins the 2017 Western Downs Australia Day Cultural Award. Contributed.

The gift of recognition

THERE'S nothing like seeing incredible, hard-working people honoured for their achievements - and the council is calling for residents to help them do just that as nominations open for the 2018 Australia Day awards.

The Australia Day awards recognise the selfless and significant contributions and achievements of community members in a variety of junior and senior categories, including culture, sports and community events.

Other awards include the junior and senior citizen of the year and the Year 12 Dux Award.

There will be six winners of each award, one from each Western Downs district, with each winner then being considered for the overall, region-wide win in their category.

Western Downs councillor Kaye Maguire said the awards were an important part of the community.

"We have so many people who are actively working in our community doing great things,” Cr Maguire said.

"(Nominees are) recognised by their peers, which is what's really important.

"We need to be putting our thinking caps on already to think about who we're going to nominate.”

This year's Senior Cultural Award winner Zita Stark said it was an honour to be nominated and emphasised the importance of nominating others.

"Recognitions are a forever gift, they help people realise that it is important and valued what they do, may it be passion, hobby, interest or work,” she said.

"We all can make this world a happier and better place if we are grateful for others' achievement and value them in front of the public.

"When I moved to Chinchilla, I was simply blown away by the warm hospitality of our local people and their readiness to help each other.”

Nominations close November 28 at 5pm. Forms are available at the library or the council's website.

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